REVIEW: ‘Halloween Ends,’ thankfully

A trilogy with a promising start, a messy middle and a head-scratching finale that makes you think they didn’t plan things through.

It applied to the new “Star Wars” films and it’s how this recent “Halloween” series went, too.

“Halloween Ends” picks up four years after the events of the first two films in the trilogy. After killing Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter and many others on Halloween in 2018, Michael Myers has completely disappeared. Laurie is now living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and is writing a book about her experiences.

Fate causes their paths to cross with Corey (Rohan Campbell), a young man who after was involved in a fatal incident which was blamed on him. While Laurie is first sympathetic to Corey, she soon learns that he might be a factor in Myers coming back.

“Halloween Ends” has some good ideas that, in a stand-alone film, could have worked quite nicely. Trying to shove these ideas into an established series with nearly no set-up, especially in what’s supposed to be the finale of a trilogy, though, makes for a rather messy movie.

We find out early on that Corey himself came across Myers, and when he did so, some of the Boogeyman’s bloodlust was passed on to the young man. What happens next is Corey getting close to Allyson and Laurie being worried about Corey potentially becoming a killer.

Now, “Kills” was not a good film, but even so, one should expect the next film in the series to build off what happened in the previous production. “Ends” largely seems to ignore it. One could actually argue that this film could be treated as a direct sequel to the 2018 film, and it would be kind of hard to notice that anything was missing.

But Michael is still alive in this movie. So while the film wants Corey to be the new antagonist and terrorize Laurie with the idea that this force is going to keep coming back, it’s not able to fully commit, as it still needs to show the final confrontation with her and Michael.

HallEndsBlog
Courtesy Universal Pictures.

There’s also the fact that the concept of what happens in this movie has done better, or at least in a more interesting way, than what happens in “Ends.” One good example is 2021’s “Candyman.”

Another is “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.” With both of these examples, there was more going on than just an evil entity coming to possess a new host.

The newer “Candyman” incorporated topics of gentrification and police brutality, while “Nightmare 2” is well known for its homoerotic theme. “Halloween Ends” adds nothing close to as interesting other than a half-assed question on how evil develops in a person.

Another issue with “Halloween Ends” is it never really feels like a “Halloween” movie. It plays out more like a dark romantic thriller at times than an actual slasher. Scenes of Corey and Allyson riding on a bike together as their romance grows makes one wonder if they selected the right movie on Peacock.

At the very least, the movie finally turns it on with the horror elements in the third act. There are some good kills later in the movie, including a really memorable one that takes place at a radio station. It manages to salvage things a bit.

However, despite an interesting concept and some good genre moments, this film is a dud. One wishes that the final shot of the knife at the end of the 2018 picture had been the conclusion to this reboot saga. 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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